Everyone knows O.B. macaroni. Louis Bicocchi and Giovanni Laneri, fellow Italian immigrants, incorporated the Fort Worth Macaroni Company in 1905.
In 1959 Fort Worth Macaroni was renamed “O.B.” [Our Best] Macaroni” and is still in business, helping durum wheat fulfill its destiny. (Old photo from Greater Fort Worth, 1907.)
But at one time O.B. wasn’t the only pasta in town. As the ghost sign on this building on East Vickery Street shows, O.B. had a rival: Standard Macaroni. In fact, the Standard Macaroni building (1910) is just three blocks east of where O.B. Macaroni has been located since 1905.
The Standard Macaroni Company was incorporated by G. L. Rollins, Louis Ietzzi, and Arthur Berry in 1909. Among stockholders were Fort Worth pioneer bankers W. J. Boaz and W. H. Eddleman (as in the Ball-Eddleman-McFarland house, 1899). Standard Macaroni began strong, within a month doubling its capacity, enlarging its building (Vickery was called “Railroad Avenue” then), and advertising for workers in Star-Telegram classifieds. In 1914 its products were selling alongside those of its rival, Our Best, in local grocery stores, advertised here with axle grease, fly paper, and shoe polish. Yummy.
In 1914 Standard Macaroni advertised its Victor variety and published this recipe in the Star-Telegram, issuing a challenge to pay ten dollars in gold for a better recipe.
But something went wrong, and just as Star-Telegram classified ads of 1909 show Standard Macaroni’s promising beginning, this 1915 classified ad shows that in Fort Worth’s pasta duel, Our Best was better, and Victor was loser.